To Be 84 and Not Give a Fuck
This Quincy Jones interview with David Marchese on the Vulture.com site has been making the rounds this week, and with good reason. Jones is 84, doesn't give a fuck (for the most part), and (mostly) tells all in a blunt, matter-of-fact, David Mamet manner.
Among the revelations:
- Michael Jackson was a greedy, Machivallean bastard (sure)
- JFK was killed on orders from Chicago mobster Sam Giancana (yeah, I need more on that)
- The Beatles sucked as musicians but Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen rocks (cough)
- Oprah shouldn't run for president (sure)
- Cyndi Lauper was a big complainer on the “We Are the World” set
- Tevin Campbell should‘ve been bigger (I think this every time I hear “Round and Round”)
- Marlon Brando slept with James Baldwin and Richard Pryor (Pryor’s widow has confirmed)
Beyond the gossip, there was wisdom:
Do you hear the spirit of jazz in pop today?
No. People gave it up to chase money. When you go after Cîroc vodka and Phat Farm and all that shit, God walks out of the room. I have never in my life made music for money or fame. Not even Thriller. No way. God walks out of the room when you’re thinking about money.
And this is from a man who doesn't believe in God:
Are you religious?
No, man. I know too much about it. I knew Romano Mussolini, the jazz piano player, the son of Benito Mussolini. We used to jam all night. And he'd tell me about where the Catholics were coming from. The Catholics have a religion based on fear, smoke, and murder. And the biggest gimmick in the world is confession: “You tell me what you did wrong and it‘ll be okay.” Come on. And almost everywhere you go in the world, the biggest structures are the Catholic churches. It’s money, man. It's fucked up.
But no surprise, this is my favorite quote. It's when Marchese asks if he's on board for Oprah for president and he says no. He says, “If you haven't been governor of a state or the CEO of a company or a military general, you don't know how to lead people,” and Marchese reminds him that Oprah is the CEO of a company. To which Jones says:
A symphony conductor knows more about how to lead than most businesspeople — more than Trump does. He doesn't know shit. Someone who knows about real leadership wouldn't have as many people against him as he does. He's a fucking idiot.
The piece is called “Quincy Jones in Conversation.” May all of our conversations be so interesting.